A Sideways Look at Clouds

A Sideways Look at Clouds

Posted by on Jan 25, 2018 in News |

A few days after my show opening at Cole Gallery in Edmonds, WA an author, Maria Ruth, encountered me by chance during a lunch break from a workshop at the gallery. She was doing a book signing and reading next door at the bookstore of her new book, A Sideways Look at Clouds. We had a wonderful exchange of how fascinated we both are, that we all really are, with clouds, and what they mean in our lives. Check out her recent blog post…and more importantly her book. It just might make you look up more… Check out this post featuring Amanda Houston written by A Sideways Look At Clouds author, Maria Mudd Ruth: Last Saturday, the clouds marched into Edmonds, Washington. The Edmonds Bookshop hosted me for a noon-time presentation on my book, A Sideways Look at Clouds. I arrived a bit early at this wonderful independent bookstore, browsed for a bit, and one of the bookstore staff members lead me next door to the Cole Gallery. As if there weren’t enough clouds in the sky or in my book…here was a gallery full of clouds, part of an exhibit entitled  “Color, Light, and Atmosphere–Luminous Landscapes” featuring the works of Amanda Houston and David Marty. I was thrilled to have so many paintings in one big room, rather than have to chase down the clouds in paintings displayed in multi-storied, multi-roomed art museums. No one would disagree with me that most of the paintings on display were of clouds, even though the exhibit was described as, “Stunning skies, glowing sunsets, quiet lakes and sunlit forests are part of the varied subjects in our latest show featuring a beautiful collection of landscape paintings…” What? We know what makes the sky stunning. Clouds. We know what makes the difference between a ho-hum sunset and a spectacular one. Clouds. We know what often makes a landscape painting luminous. Clouds.  As I’ve said here and elsewhere, we should really call them cloudscapes and cloudsets. Terminology aside, Amanda Houston really gets the clouds. By chance, this Willamette Valley artist was in the Cole Gallery when I stopped in last Saturday, so I got the pleasure of meeting her and hearing about her fascinating with clouds in the Pacific Northwest. Just look at this stunning oil painting (36 x 48) called “Breaking Through.” There’s the dark clouds in the distance looking somewhat stable and then there are the brighter, peach-hued close-up clouds that are doing something more dynamic. Upon closer inspection, it looks like the clouds have been swept. This is exactly the look of clouds that are trailing precipitation–known as virga–as they deteriorate after a storm. Virgo evaporates in the atmosphere and never reaches the ground. Look even closer at the artists brush strokes and you’ll see–or feel, really–that she has captured the crazy energy of these clouds. Energy as lines and energy...

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